As the premier jazz venue in Tokyo, the Blue Note is the place to hear some of the world's greatest jazz musicians. Tied in with other clubs in such cities as New York and Milan, Blue Note is able to attract such names as Natalie Cole, Oscar Peterson and Taj Mahal. Arrive early for dinner and enjoy a wide ranging menu offering everything from steaks to seafood. A rustic, elegant setting provides the perfect vibe to enjoy dinner and music and is a must-visit for jazz lovers while in Tokyo.
Suntory Hall is one of Tokyo's best concert venues for classical music. It harbors two concert halls: the Main Hall with a capacity of 2006 and the Blue Rose Hall with a capacity of 432. The larger hall mainly features orchestral concerts and pipe organ recitals, while the smaller hall offers a wide range of different classical genres, including popular children's concerts. Wines, cocktails and coffee are available at the Bar Intermezzo before each concert and during intermission. The concert halls gives the impression of opulence with great, ambient lighting and the stage right in the middle, with the seating arranged in a semi-circle on different levels. So, definitely go for a show here, it is well worth the price.
Ginza is one of Japan's, and perhaps Asia's, most prestigious shopping areas. Many up-market retail shops have their flagship stores here. Ginza attracts smart and elegant shoppers and office workers as well as students in t-shirts. There are countless wining and dining places to choose from ranging from the reasonable to the outrageously expensive. You can also participate in and enjoy the events which take place in the vibrant district all year round. If you have the money to spend, Ginza should be on your itinerary.
The National Theater is the oldest and best theater for traditional Japanese dance. There are two theaters: one with a seating capacity of 1654 in which kabuki is staged for about eight months of the year, and the other with a capacity of 594 in which Bunraku, an elaborate form of a puppet show, is performed. Earphone guides and an explanation of the story are available. A restaurant on-site serves Japanese food as well as alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Ticket prices vary according to performance.
Yebisu Garden Place is a close-knit complex that affords astounding urbane views with something to please every palate. At the epicenter of Ebisu, Yebisu Garden Place is best known as a city within a city. A magnificent, glass archway opens up to this teeming plaza, which, in one way or another, has been instrumental in framing the cultural landscape of Shibuya. A celebratory vibe pervades the scene, fueled by the frequent events, festivities and markets that are hosted here. A collection of Japanese, Western and tavern-type establishments co-exist here, while groves of trees add a splash of color. Some of the most prominent attractions here include the headquarters of Sapporo Breweries, the Museum of Yebisu Beer, an elaborate shopping arcade, the Mitsukoshi department and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
The New National Theater, a strikingly modern house of culture and performance, consists of the Opera House, the Playhouse and the Pit. The Opera House features ballet and opera and has a capacity of 1810. The Playhouse, with a capacity of about 1000, stages drama, modern dance, small operas, ballets and musicals. The Pit, which seats 400 to 450, features a movable floor that can be used both as a stage and audience seating, and stages diverse contemporary productions such as experimental theater and modern dance. There is a full-service restaurant and buffet on-site for grabbing a bite before a performance.
This gallery, which claims to be the oldest photographic gallery in the country, is certainly a gallery that has earned its stripes over the years; it's dedication to Japanese and international photography has made it something of an institution. With over 3000 works to see, of a varied and sometimes controversial nature, it is worth a contemplative afternoon of your time.
The Kite Museum is an example of a businessman's hobby which has been rendered available for public perusal. There are works in progress by an on-site kite maker. Amid the miscellaneous Japanese and international kites and kite supplies is an eye-catching model of a Japanese war plane! Step gingerly throughout the museum so that you do not damage any of the fragile works.
Teikoku Gekijo is one of the icons of the Japanese theater world. The original theater opened over 100 years ago, but it has only been in the present building since 1966. It stages both drama and musicals, with musicals currently the number one attraction, and it seats 1928. The audience consists predominantly of young women in their twenties and thirties. There is an assortment of restaurants in the basement of the building and the Ginza is nearby, so an evening at this theater can be combined with dinner.
In Tokyo, a city that launched a thousand thoughtfully designed luxury stores, you could be assured that Armani was not to be outdone. The Armani Ginza Tower, home of the Armani / Ristorante, the stunning Armani / Spa along with a complete collection of Armani clothing, is both a retail and architectural triumph. The building itself is particularly dazzling at nighttime, festooned with lights and with structural supports that mimic bamboo stalks.
The museum offers an overview of Japanese crafts, many executed by famous artisans. The thriving world of contemporary Japanese handicrafts can be viewed in all of its forms; the collection contains lacquer, metal and glass work, textiles, ceramics and of course, bamboo. You might be tempted to visit regularly because the exhibits change often. The adjacent park also provides a refreshing diversion from city life.